Creating an Economic Titan and Historic Crown Jewel
We have titled IOWA berth Pacific Square. The location of the U.S.S. Iowa at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo is an easy to reach location. With multiple roads accessing the island, the ship will be minutes away from world famous Napa Valley frequented by nearly 5 million visitors annually, Discovery Kingdom frequented by nearly 1.5 million visitors a year and Infineon Raceway that plays host to 700,000 screaming NASCAR enthusiasts each year. Finally, the battleship will be only a 25-minute drive from downtown San Francisco with its over 14-million visitors each year. In fact, one in four tourists to San Francisco visits the wineries in nearby Napa County. Studies agree that the battleship's decks will see approximately 400,000 visitors annually. That visitor range can be expected to expand significantly (see below) with the establishment of retail businesses at the shipyard adjacent to U.S.S. Iowa's berth and from veterans reunions that are anticipated to meet aboard the battleship at this historic location.
Directly across from the Vallejo ferry terminal, the battleship will present an awe-inspiring profile when viewed from the City of Vallejo’s popular and well designed waterfront. Hundreds of thousands of ferry riders arriving in Vallejo will have a stunning bow view of the U.S.S. Iowa. Additionally, the battleship’s profile will be seen from two major roadways in the Bay Area, highways 37 and 80. At night, with her bright chain of lights strung from her tallest mast to her bow and stern, U.S.S. Iowa will portray a striking image to tens of thousands of commuters.
Naval Shipyard Mare Island is the West Coast’s oldest naval facility. It is a time capsule for almost 150 years of American naval history. The shipyard is one of the largest and most important as well as best preserved naval locations in the nation. The yard is on the national register for historic preservation. With dry docks over 500 feet long and large cranes, the shipyard offers an unforgettable experience and historic backdrop only rivaled by the U.S.S. Missouri's berth in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Americans will have an opportunity to see first hand how this nation built and maintained our Navy. In this regard, U.S.S. Iowa's berth will be nationally unique. Further, within a block of IOWA's projected berth are the stately historic mansions of shipyard commanders along beautiful tree lined streets. A scant few blocks away is one of the oldest and best preserved chapels in the nation, beautiful St. Peter’s chapel with some of the most striking tiffany stained glass in the country. This chapel, like the nearby mansions, remains open to the public. As if this is not enough, the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation museum is directly across from the battleship’s berth at the historic core (seen above). The historic core is easily accessible, houses some of the shipyard's best preserved buildings and has been designated a commercial area, to be populated with cafes, restaurants and shops. Projected to be a lively center for retail shopping and tourism, Mare Island's historic core will afford the U.S.S. Iowa a potentially economically vibrant berthing site.
The battleship is proposed to be moored between Berths 7-10. It is envisioned that adjacent building encompassing U.S.S. Iowa's berth could be converted to retail and museum use, providing for an extraordinary mix of vibrant, varied retail and educational attractions. Visitors will not only have the opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring U.S.S. Iowa and other Island attractions, but also engage in a range of offerings to include shops, cafes and restaurants, theater and arts center, military history and other collections, interactive learning and educational exhibits. It is important to note that the now empty office and assembly buildings on Mare Island afford economical conversion to retail uses. Upon expansion, Pacific Square could also feature a convention center, hotel and cruise ship terminal. Fully developed, Pacific Square, situated within an area of Mare Island designated for mixed-use may, incorporate 11 square acres with approximately 800,000 square feet of commercial space with a projected capitalization of over $100 million. These improvements are envisioned in 4-discreet phases. In phase one, almost 200,000 square feet of retail by the battleship could be developed. In phase two almost 150,000 feet of retail and a 200-room hotel are envisioned. In phase three almost 130,000 of convention space and cruise ship terminal could become available. Importantly, much of this space is on on near waterfront property with stunning views. In phase four, an indoor shopping mall may be developed. The commercial and retail development of Pacific Square with the U.S.S. Iowa as an anchor tenant will dramatically boost patronage to the site. Annual projections should easily exceed 500,000 visitors. Importantly, these plans are conceptual in nature and not contractual in execution.
A military and non-profit museum theme is envisioned for Pacific Square. The near-by location of the Mare Island naval museum supports this theme. Furthermore, Pacific Square is expected to house a number of military collections for buy and sale purposes. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that may make Mare Island a collectors center. There will no other location on the planet with this kind of attraction and appeal. Iowa's proposed waterfront berth is pictured to the left.
An important feature of Pacific Square will be the fact that its occupants will contribute to a hull preservation fund for U.S.S. Iowa, this to ensure here survival. This endowment will be a national model for self-funding a naval memorial.
The development of Pacific Square at Mare Island is a concept developed by Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square, a 501(C)3 non-profit public benefit corporation. Pacific Square could be a one-of-a-kind retail, educational, entertainment and hospitality environment. This is a business-driven charitable project offering benefits in economic development, job creation, public education and emergency preparedness. Letters of interest have already been received.
The combination of the legendary U.S.S. Iowa and historic Mare Island Naval Shipyard, minutes drive from the world famous wine country of Napa Valley and the attractions of the San Francisco Bay Area, will attract visitors from around the country. The U.S.S. Iowa at Mare Island will become a national beacon for proud patriotic feelings and center stage for hosting on an unparallel scale tens of thousands of American's veterans at meetings and functions. Few locations offer a more supportable, realizable venue for telling the story of the United States Navy. The combined synergy of a dramatic historic setting, confluence of powerful long-term economic advantages and incentives stand to make the U.S.S. Iowa at Mare Island a national attraction of almost unparalleled value and sustainability. The U.S.S. Iowa and our nation's naval legacy will thrive at Mare Island.
|History of Mare Island||More Aerial Pictures of Mare Island & Ground Level Photos of Buildings|
Return to Prior Page
Return to Home Page